“Analysis of the Formation Process in the Bid for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics” by Yusei Ishimoto
May 26, 2021 @ 9:00 am – 10:00 am JST
Author: Yusei Ishimoto (Komazawa)
Abstract: This study examines the policy formation process of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Bid from the perspective of how the different spheres of Japanese sports, politics, government, the imperial family, and the private sector worked together to form a network toward the common goal of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Bid, and incorporated the elements necessary to make the bid a success. Tokyo, which lost to Rio de Janeiro (Rio) in the 2016 bid, received the highest rating among Rio, Madrid, and Chicago, which were also in the running, in formulating its hosting plan. In other words, even though Tokyo chose a strategy that appealed to the “insights” of the IOC members and put its utmost effort into the planning and presentation to the IOC members, things did not turn out as planned. In other words, a good plan and a well-developed presentation were the minimum requirements for winning the bid, but they were not the decisive factors to supplement direct promotional activities and win.
In other words, the most important feature is that the host city of the Olympics is selected through an election by the IOC commissioners. Therefore, in order to win the bid, it is necessary not only to appeal the superiority of the hosting concept and plan, but also to gain the understanding of a total of 115 IOC members who have the right to vote through international promotion activities. It is thought that Japan’s weak influence and lack of personal connections in the international sports world, including the IOC, led to its defeat in the 2004 bid.
This paper analyzes in detail the strategic lobbying activities conducted with the IOC members and government officials of various countries based on the lessons learned from the defeat in the 2004 bid. Specifically, it uses documents and activity reports prepared by the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Bid Committee, as well as books and newspaper reports on the bid activities, to quantitatively clarify how the Bid Committee, the government, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government have moved and transformed themselves to achieve the success of the bid, based on the policy network theory. In the case of the 20-year bid, the government’s policy network theory was used.
It also analyzes the fact that for the first time in history, the Japanese imperial family effectively cooperated in the bid for the Olympics in 2008. The fact that the Imperial Household Agency, which had been cautious about cooperating in the bid activities on the basis of Article 4 of the Constitution, which states that “the Emperor has no functions related to the national government,” turned its stance toward cooperation was a turning point in the relationship between the Imperial Family and the Olympic bid activities, as some people questioned whether the relationship was positive or negative.
I have been conducting this research from the perspective that clarifying the structure of the Olympic bid will help a nation in the international community to formulate a diplomatic strategy to acquire all kinds of “national interests.